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Plane waves

  1. Feb 23, 2006 #1
    I would like to see some nice visualizations of plane waves. Has anyone a nice link or knows a book where to find such?

    For EM waves the perpendicular E and B vector span a plane at each instant of time, right?

    What if there would be only an electric field wave. Would there be also a planes, i.e. are there many electric field vectors aligned next to each other at each point in time?
  2. jcsd
  3. Feb 23, 2006 #2


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    Staff: Mentor

    Maybe posting #6 in this thread will help:


    I don't think it's possible to have a wave of E without an accompanying wave of B. According to Maxwell's equations, a changing E field automatically produces a B field, and a changing B field automatically produces an E field.
  4. Feb 23, 2006 #3


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    Science Advisor
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    Yes, it is possible to have an electric field wave with no magnetic field so long as [itex]\vec k \times \vec E = 0[/itex], i.e. the waves are longitudinal. Such will occur in plasmas (electron plasma waves, ion acoustic waves, etc.).
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2006
  5. Feb 23, 2006 #4
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